Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cholesterol Myth

Should we worry about high cholesterol? This article says no. Read it to the end. Surprise! We need cholesterol. It's not the enemy unless the total is over 330.

Dr. Joseph Mercola has given us a very complete rundown on treating high cholesterol. I'm with him all the way. He published the article on his website (http://www.mercola.com/)  in August, 2010. The medical advice we get about cholesterol control is controversial. I have had the discussion with several doctors, consecutively, none of whom recommend this point of view.

Dr. Mercola is not alone. There is a body of literature that is consistent with what he says in this article. Most of what I have read is written by doctors and scientists. At the end of the article is his list of references.

Here is the article's table of contents:

What is cholesterol and why do you need it?
Your total cholesterol is NOT a great indicator of your heart disease risk.
Cholesterol is neither "good" nor "bad."
Cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy.
Vitamin D and your cholesterol.
Cholesterol and inflammation -- what's the connection?
The insanity of lowering cholesterol.
If your cholesterol is too low...
Who decided what cholesterol levels are healthy or harmful?
The dangers of cholesterol-lowering medications.
Are cholesterol drugs even effective?
Zetia and Vytorin: no medical benefits.
How to lower inflammation, and thereby your risk of heart disease, naturally.
How to lower your cholesterol naturally...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Apples and Applesauce

It's apple season in Wisconsin. I make the world's best applesauce, and I will share the recipe with you. But first I have a few things to say about apples.

1.  If you type "apples" into your search engine, you will get a lot of hits, including Apple computers, Apples to Apples game, Wikipedia on apples, and much more. Who would have guessed? Apple computers must be delicious.

2.  The apple genome has about 57,000 genes. That's more than in human beings, which have about 30,000 genes. (Wikipedia says.) Does that make apples superior or more complex than humans?

3.  China produces the most apples. The US is second. (Wikipedia again.) Wisconsin grows a lot of them. Apparently Washington grows more.

4.  The apple is in the rose family. (Wikipedia yet again.) But to make a bouquet, keep them on the branch. Roses work better than apples in vases.

5. Johnny Appleseed was an apple tree salesman. I heard that on television.

Sarah and I went apple gathering on Washington Island during the Labor Day weekend. That is a place where wild apple trees grow along the road. We brought the apples home and I made applesauce for us to share. I make wonderful applesauce due to two things: good sour apples and Mrs. Robertson, my home economics teacher in 7th and 8th grade. This is what she taught us girls so long ago:

Applesauce That is Better Than Canned Applesauce

Apples - sour, such as MacIntosh or Cortland
sugar - about 1/4 cup for every 4 apples (you may use white or brown sugar or real maple syrup)

Quarter, peel and core apples. Put them in a pan. Put a small amount of water into the pan, about 1/2 inch for a small batch. Cover the pan and bring the apples to a boil over high heat. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apples are soft. If you didn't add enough water, add more. Add sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon. If you use a lot of cinnamon, you might overpower the good apple taste, so don't overdo it. Stir the sauce to break up the apple pieces, but don't mash them. Cool the sauce and enjoy the aroma in your home. Eat.

Mrs. Robertson did not tell us to sweeten the sauce with brown sugar or maple syrup. That is something that I figured out myself.